The Indian Air Force (IAF) is setting new benchmarks every day. Very recently the IAF had conducted a massive landing and take-off operation on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Sixteen IAF aircrafts participated in the exercise aimed at ensuring emergency landing strips for planes.
A major highlight of this exercise was the landing of the 35,000 kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on the expressway.
— PIB India (@PIB_India) October 25, 2017
And then the IAF successfully test fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI. That helped India achieve a monumental cruise missile triad which means that India can now fire cruise missiles from land, sea or air.
MaidenTest Flight : The World’s fastest Supersonic Cruise Missile #Brahmos created history after it was successfully flight-tested from the #IAF frontline Fighter Aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea based target in the Bay of Bengal, 22 Nov 17.@DefenceMinIndia @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/doOsvqznGC
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 22, 2017
On Thursday, the IAF placed another feather in its cap. Two of IAF’s best known recon and transport aircraft successfully completed air-to-air refueling (AAR).
It was the first time ever that an IAF DRDO-Embraer aircraft carried out an AAR. The aircraft is designed to conduct Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) function.
The aircraft received fuel via the “Probe and Drogue” methodology from an Ilyushin IL-78M.
In a statement the IAF said that the “Probe and Drogue” methodology “requires exceptional flying skills” because both aircrafts have to fly at exactly the same parameters at the time of refueling.
The pilots of the receiving aircraft have to ensure that the probe is accurately inserted in drogue trailing behind the fuel tanker aircraft.
Here, watch how the aircraft refuelled midair.
ForceMultiplication Mission of Exponential Proportions: 1st time in #IAF, an AEW&C #EmbraerAircraft has successfully carried out #AerialRefuelling. A ForceMultiplier IL78 refuels another ForceMultiplier. IAF is one of the few AirForces in the World to demonstrate this capability. pic.twitter.com/qgLxqxvq8P
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 30, 2017
According to the IAF, a 10 minute in-flight refuelling can generate additional four hours of flying endurance.
Air-to-air refueling is a capability only a handful of air forces in the world possess. Being India’s only AEW&C aircraft fitted on an Embraer, the IAF says that the achievement will enhance the operational capability of the force.
The IAF has three more AEW&C aircraft in the form of Beriev A-50 which has midair refueling capability.